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50-50 custody schedules are very popular. Judges often operate from a presumption that 50-50 custody schedules are best. But this is your real life, not the preference of a third party who does not know you or your children. Before deciding how to share your children, read this article.

In the last thirty years, we have witnessed huge changes in the parenting roles.  I still chuckle when I think about the movie Mr. Mom. Fortunately for children and women, fathers caring for their children is becoming less of a joke and more of an expectation. The shift in parenting roles has not been lost on Judges or Legislatures, at least not here in California. 50-50 physical custody schedules have rapidly become the starting point for many Judges only to be defected from when one parent does not want or cannot safely provide care one-half of the time.

For parents who are using mediation to dissolve their marriage, you get to work together to determine what is best for your family. And the decision should consider both the children and the parents. First and foremost, you need to consider the child(ren) who will be living between two houses. If you have more than one child, you may even consider different schedules for different children. And secondly,  you have to consider how each parents’ attitude towards the schedule, the other parent, and their parenting duties will impact the children. Because if you can’t share the parent responsibilities happily, your children will see this. Children look to their parents for guidance on how to feel about their lot in life. So it is important that you feel that their situation is a good one.

50-50 custody  schedules are mostly great if you ask me, but like all aspects of parenting there are pros and cons. Below are 4 pros and 4 cons for you to consider.

Pros

  1. When you only have the children 50%  of the time, you find yourself cherishing every moment you have.
  2. The more time with a child the lower the child support.
  3. Equal custodial time, increases the likelihood that both parents will equally share the parenting duties–for instance homework, extra curricular activities, and medical appointments.
  4. You will have free time to be a single person. This is one of the best parts, but often also the hardest to accept because we feel guilty about having time to ourselves. Don’t. It makes you a better parent.

Cons

  1. Good 50-50 custody schedules require frequent communication and cooperation between the parents. So if you can’t speak or type civilly to one another or you marry a jealous person the next time around a 50-50 custody schedule is going to be hard on the whole family.
  2. Saved child support is quickly spent providing a home that is big enough for your children to live in half of the time. Plus you have to feed  them, cloth them, and entertain them.
  3. Children will need time to adjust to the transitions each time they transfer between homes. So you are always looking at least a day of getting them back into your routine.
  4. You will miss your children when they are gone.

There is a good chance that your family will need to consider other factors. In Divorce Mediation, I help you and your spouse explore your family ‘s needs and find solutions that best fit all of you. But I can’t do help unless you take the first step, and schedule an appointment with me.

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